Certain beliefs about men keep women from having good relationships with them. Read how Karen Jones’ book is trying to stop that.
A good friend and Life Coach has been an exceptional proponent for men in relationships. Her name is Karen Jones and she is the author of the book Men are Great: How to Build a Relationship That Brings out the Best in Both of You. Because of her work and her book and the way she helps men and women create successful relationships I wanted to bring her and her book to the readers of the Good Men Project. I interviewed Karen about her book, why she saw the need to write a book called Men are Great and why she wrote this book for women in particular:
AA: Karen, thank you for agreeing to let me interview. I love the focus of your coaching practice and the focus of your book. To start off with, I have to ask what was it that inspired you to write your book Men are Great?
KJ: I’d been working with women since 1997, helping them be successful with men, whether dating, or in their committed relationships. I had been painfully aware of the way the media (TV, movies, magazines, radio – everywhere!) was representing men to look like useless, clueless, ridiculous buffoons. I could also see how it was all having a negative impact on my clients’ ability to attract and/or relate with great men (who of course are everywhere!).
We are impacted by media…it’s why companies pay millions of dollars just to get one commercial seen during a huge sporting event, right? What I was seeing what that it was harder and harder for women to have helpful, productive attitudes and expectations of men, while being swamped with all these horrible messages about them.
And then I had the “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment, listening to the radio. A commercial came on that infuriated me: you hear a man whistling, hammering away, and his wife, with contempt dripping from her voice, interrogates – and then shames – him because he doesn’t know that the work he’s doing (to make her happy by providing something she’s wanted) is actually taking down a load-bearing wall. So he’s an idiot for not knowing something that is obvious (again, this message is clearly delivered through the tone of her voice).
Wow. Something snapped in me, and I declared in that moment that I was going to do something about it, and what that became was to write “Men are Great”.
AA: Tells us a little more about the book. What message do you try to give to the readers of your book?
KJ: The primary message is this:
Men are great – truly – and they are everywhere, and that, by being able to see them, and relate with them as great, everyone wins (hence the subtitle: How to Build a Relationship That Brings out the Best in Both of You).
AA: Why do you feel that’s important?
KJ: You’re going to see what you expect to see, and with the onslaught of the negative messages about men, women’s ability to have what they really want, which is a loving, fulfilling and safe relationship with a won derful man, is going to be way harder to create.
After all, you can’t attract a great man if what you’re radiating is a lack of respect and appreciation for men! What man would come anywhere near a woman who didn’t have the capacity to see his greatness? Right! Men who are not being great.
As I talk about in the book, we all start out the same (whole, great and worthy), and, unfortunately, many people have tough life experiences that teach/train them to be less than great. Those are people who can be unsafe to be in a relationship with, and those connections then fortify the negative attitudes. It’s a downward spiral that I address this in one chapter in the book.
AA: Your book is written for women. What is it about women that you believe they need this message?
KJ: I guess there are two parts to my answer:
1) I’ve worked with women for almost two decades. I know what they want, and also what their obstacles are to having it: wanting a great man who they can respect, admire, trust and have a wonderful life with, while having less-than-helpful attitudes about men, so I wanted to address this with women directly, and
2) When a woman is operating from a powerful vision, it can make a lot of amazing things happen. In fact, I love this Chinese proverb:”When sleeping women wake, mountains will move”.
I wanted to help women wake up. Some mountains are in serious need of being moved.
AA: What kind of response have you got from women about it?
KJ: Once a woman reads it, the feedback is tremendously positive. I’ve had women share with me that:
They’re attracting and dating men who are a better fit for them;
Their relationships have taken a turn for the better, and they are happier
The men in their lives have opened up more, and they’re enjoying their relationships
Old hurts and disappointments have spontaneously healed because of what they now get happened
Sadly I’ve also had women roll their eyes when they hear/read the title, make negative comments about men, and walk away. Those are the women I’d most like to reach!
AA: And what kind of response do you get from men?
KJ: Oh, boy – you want evidence of the problem with how men are being portrayed, and the harm that it’s causing? Too many men, when they see the title, get into defense mode and either wait for the “punchline”, or will say “Yeah, but women are greater, right?”
The signs are everywhere that the denigration of men has been wearing away at them (and because of what I do for work: helping women have relationships with men, I see it in the way men are more resistant to connection and commitment. I have no stats to prove that; that’s more of my gut sense).
When I’m able to look a man in the eyes and tell him that I’m serious about the title of the book, an amazing thing happens: what I most see is profound gratitude washing over them, and RELIEF…that there are women out there who actually get them, appreciate them, and are willing to spread the word.
I had one client whose boyfriend would, when they were getting into a danger zone, suggest she re-read my book. They had some good laughs about it, and it also got a message across in a way that felt safe to them both. I loved it when she told me that story!
AA: Okay, one last question: what message can you give to readers reading this interview that will help them in their marriage or relationship?
I guess this: people will live up to – or down to – your expectations of them. To the best of your ability, as consistently as possible, strive to see, and relate to, the very best in your mate. You’ll be amazed at that that will inspire in them (and what it will bring out in you, too!).
AA: Thank you so much for your time, Karen. You’re really doing a great job promoting healthy relationships and how to cast away erroneous beliefs and thoughts that keep women and men from having those healthy relationships. Where can readers find out more about you and your book?
My website: www.TheHeartMatters.com